Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Lady Gaga beats Kylie, Queen and Journey to dominate ‘earworm honours’ list

Lady Gaga poses for photographers during an event to promote her new album 'Joanne' in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.
Lady Gaga poses for photographers during an event to promote her new album 'Joanne' in Tokyo, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.

Bad Romance by Lady Gaga is the most catchy earworm with Kylie Minogue’s aptly-named Can’t Get You Out Of My Head in second place, according to academic research.

Dr Kelly Jakubowski has studied the phenomenon and identified what makes a song more catchy than the average pop tune.

Researchers asked 3,000 people for their most frequent earworm and analysed what set them apart from equally successful songs that did not have the sticky factor.

The Durham University academic found they tend to have a faster tempo, a simple melodic structure (like nursery rhymes, which rise and fall in pitch) and an unusual interval structure in the song (like unexpected leaps or more repeated notes than the listener expects).

Dr Jakubowski explained: “The idea is to combine a really simple overall melody shape with a unique pattern of interval. The melody is quite simple to remember but it has something a bit more interesting added.”

The study listed the nine most frequently named earworms as:

1 Bad Romance, Lady Gaga

2 Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Kylie Minogue

3 Don’t Stop Believing, Journey

4 Somebody That I Used To Know, Gotye

5 Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5

6 California Gurls, Katy Perry

7 Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen 

8 Alejandro, Lady Gaga

9 Poker Face, Lady Gaga

Tips to get rid of an irritating song include playing it all the way through, listening to another tune like the national anthem to force it out of your mind or simply allowing it to fade away on its own.

The study, titled Dissecting an Earworm, is published in the academic journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]